And Adrian Hill has hailed the agreement, whereby Australia will begin building nuclear submarines using technology supplied by the other two countries, as a masterstroke – stressing: “The EU is no match for the United States.” Mr Hill was commenting after details were confirmed last week, with Australia pulling the plug on a $90billion dollar deal with France to build conventional submarines, much to the anger of both French President Emmanuel Macron and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
France went so far as to recall its envoys from Australia and the US in protest but Mr Hill – a former officer in the Royal Engineers who among other diplomatic posts worked as a member of the Channel Tunnel team at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the COBRA Committee of the Cabinet Office – suggested the reaction was largely the result of sour grapes.
He told Express.co.uk: “There is a row and a lot of silly things are being squawked by the usual parakeets.
“France simply is no substitute for the United States. Europe is no replacement for the United States.
“France was obviously a pain the butt to deal with over how much work would be done in Australia – none? The shipbuilders in France are state owned.
“France has nuclear submarines. American and British nuclear submarines are bigger and tougher and draw on the most advanced technology and intelligence alliance on the planet which has been pooling brains on an industrial scale since the Atlantic Charter was agreed Churchill and Roosevelt as two naval signals to their respective governments in August 1941.”
Turning his attention to Mr Le Drian who accused Australia of “stabbing France in the back” after the announcement, Mr Hill said: “Frankly, the French foreign minister sounds as though he feels a bit a foolish.
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Mr Hill also stressed the decision made perfect sense from a strategic point of view.
He told Express.co.uk: “A base in Australia will take a great deal of pressure off the US Navy and the Royal Navy.
“Submarines will be able to refit and reload, service their reactors, and new crews flown to Australia. This will give the existing fleet far more patrol time.
“Add half a dozen Australian boats and a couple of ours and we double the number of allied boats in those waters.”
Although China was not been specifically mentioned by Boris Johnson, Joe Biden or Scott Morrison during the announcement last week, analysts see the deal as a way of countering Chinese dominance of the Asia-Pacific region.
Mr Hill said: “China is a menace and this move is not before time. After losing a million lives in Korea and ten years later failing in the Himalayas, the big fat red cats in Beijing fought proxy wars – Pakistan versus India three times; Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia; Angola; Zimbabwe; Afghanistan.
“The brazen invasion of the South China Sea by hordes of militia fishing boats and grabbing other people’s islands is a return to Beijing’s behaviour back in the 1950s and early 1960s.
“Perhaps readers will understand why people like me would like to see the Royal Navy three times larger, the same size as it was in 1969, the last year we were truly an independent global power.
“Some of us can remember a very different world if you were British.”